A sudden winter storm can damage your facility and interrupt operations. Plan ahead to minimize the effects of winter weather on your facility and ensure the safety of your staff. Before the next storm strikes, take the following steps to make sure that you're ready.
Prepare your employees
- Review and update your emergency plan, including evacuation routes and facility closing procedures.
- Maintain up-to-date contact information for all staff.
- Designate safe areas for all staff and building occupants in the event of extreme weather.
- Implement a communication tree so that the entire staff is informed of any storm-related information.
Prepare your facility
- Inspect your building to ensure that everything is secure and in good working order.
- Check and clear gutters, downspouts and drains.
- Make sure that all windows and doors are properly weatherized.
- Hire a qualified professional to inspect and maintain your heating system.
- Make sure that all emergency and exit lighting is in working order.
- Regularly inspect, exercise and maintain standby generators and other backup power equipment.
- Maintain emergency supplies, including flashlights, first-aid kits and battery-powered radios.
- Keep snow removal equipment ready and in working order, including rock salt or sand.
Prepare company vehicles
- Inspect and maintain all company vehicles before the start of winter and regularly throughout the season.
- Check vehicle fluids on a regular basis, especially antifreeze.
- Equip all vehicles with tires that are in good working condition and appropriate for winter weather.
- Maintain emergency supplies in all vehicles, including blankets, flashlights, radios, booster cables and flares.
Prepare for the storm
- Allow employees to leave work early during severe weather to ensure a safe commute.
- Maintain a minimum building temperature of at least 55 F to safeguard against freezing pipes or equipment damage.
- Clear snow and ice from sidewalks and parking areas to minimize the potential for accidents.
- Secure important documentation, back up data files and relocate servers to a more secure site.
- Unplug all non-vital equipment and appliances.
By taking these steps, you'll help ensure that employees are safe and that your facility is ready for the unexpected.